Life Magazine 1948: Chicago Family’s Mutant Bikes

by Tom on June 23, 2012 · 3 comments

in bike history,Freak bikes,photography

I love this Life Magazine gallery of mutant bikes built by members of the Steinlauf family in their Chicago bicycle shop more than 60 years ago!

(Yes, look closer. Caption from LIFE: “Only springs connect rear of Maurice Steinlauf’s bike with roving front wheel.”)

What a wonderfully wacky family! According to Life Magazine, December 27, 1948:

“By artfully applying welders’ torches to metal tubing, the chapter’s members transform ordinary, utilitarian bicycles into traveling monstrosities. By far the most outlandish ideas have come from the Steinlauf family, who produced from their bicycle repair shop most of the oddities [shown in the article]. They are hazardous; generally at least one member of the clan is to be found in the hospital.”

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Turbine Dog June 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I wonder if that is the tallest of the tall bikes. I.. just can’t imagine the force you’d hit the ground with, if it tipped.

John June 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

I can barely get over the teamwork necessary to ride a tandem bike, let alone a bike where I’d have to coordinate with 3 other people. There is something fun and cool about this kind of experimentation, even if it created nothing more than mechanical oddities.

meligrosa July 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

these are fun, wish schwinn would still operate out of chicago. still on mi cities to visit (hopefully soon!)
thx for sharing xxom

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